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Adrian Johnston – The Object of its Affection – Reconsidering Temporality and Object-Choice in Lacan’s theory of Sexual Difference


THE LETTER 16 Summer 1999, pages 92-126




…  when  one  gives  rise  to two  (quand un fait deux),  there  is never  a return. They don’t  revert  to making one again,  even if it is a new  one.   Aufhebung  is one  of philosophy’s pretty little dreams.


Despite  its  foundational  orientation  towards  the   notion   of  sexualitv, Freudian  psychoanalysis  ironically    spends  a   scant   amount  of     time speaking of what  one is most inclined  to associate  with ·making love’  -that is, love  itself.  It is only  as regards two  interlinked phenomena that  Freud feels  compelled  to  address the  topic  of amorous sentiments. The  first location where love  finds  a place in psychoanalysis is the  dynamic of the transference. In the transference, love is merely the emotional epiphenomenon of a duped,  deceived ego that misrecognises its interlocutor.  The  second schema to which  analysis relegates love  is the mechanism of object-choice.   The notion  of such  a mechanism maintains that  the  individual’s personal history   of loving relationships is  nothing more than  the  repetition of a limited  number of childhood refrains: ‘love consists of new editions of old  traits.  But this is the essential character of every  state  of  being  in  love.

The Object of its Affection

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